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How do the Ten Worlds operate in my everyday life?

LISA (NEW MEMBER): How do the Ten Worlds operate in my everyday life?

JANE (SENIOR IN FAITH): That’s a good question. When we’re in the state of anger, for example, we think angry thoughts, look and feel angry, make causes based on our anger and experience effects of that anger in our environment.

That’s true for all the Ten Worlds. So the state of our life impacts the way we experience  life. And this state can change from moment to moment.

But our Buddhist practice is all about revealing the state of Buddhahood no matter what world we’re in. In the world of Buddhahood, we feel compassion for others, act based on wisdom and with courage, and we can experience our environment as a Buddha land. Everything, negative or positive, is an opportunity to grow and a reason to appreciate life.

Even if we’re in the state of anger, once we realize that we can manifest the world of Buddhahood that undeniably exists in our lives, we can begin transforming ourselves and overcome our obstacles.

LISA: That sounds good, but my life is so hectic. How can I bring out the world of Buddhahood when I’m overwhelmed?

JANE: There’s a phrase in the Lotus Sutra about “opening the door of Buddha wisdom” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 65). Nichiren explains that getting to the world of Buddhahood is simply a matter of opening the door to a higher state of life by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, practicing Buddhism for oneself and for others, and studying Buddhism.

So, practically speaking, we are able to strengthen our Buddhahood by carrying out our Buddhist practice. This means being consistent in doing morning and evening gongyo, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo abundantly, sharing Buddhism with others, participating in activities and studying Nichiren’s writings and our publications.

LISA: How do these things help you?

JANE: In all honesty, the hardest thing for me sometimes is believing in my Buddha nature. Even Nichiren says that to believe in your own Buddhahood is “difficult to believe and difficult to understand” (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” WND-1, 355). But I’ve learned through my experience with Buddhism that when I’m feeling down, powerless or letting my negativity get the best of me—the symptoms of the lower worlds—I need to assert control over my life condition. As George Bernard Shaw said, “To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer.”[1]George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (New York: Bretano, 1922), p. 134.

By stepping up my Buddhist practice, I’m able to assert control over my life condition and steer my life toward Buddhahood. It works every time.

 

(p. 9)

Notes   [ + ]

1. George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (New York: Bretano, 1922), p. 134.